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the legality between knockoff, bootleg, and replicas

Discussion in 'Dropshipping & Wholesale Hookups' started by aff219, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    so, I understand there are different types of "questionable" items including (Please correct me if I'm wrong)

    Replica:
    An exact recreation of a licensed item without authorization/permission/license to produce from the legal license holder.

    Bootleg:
    Mass produced product that is trying to pass itself as the original with VERY slight modification.

    Example: Addidas shoes instead of Adidas with a symbol of 4 stripes instead of 3 and the design being a direct rip off of existing Adedas models. "Stars War" toys instead of Star wars

    Knockoff:
    mass produced item made to closely resemble a licensed entity, but distanced enough to be obviously not of that entity, in order to try to benefit off the trend.

    Example: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs Toughest Meanest Reptilian Samurai
    =================================================================

    While I understand replicas are absolutely illegal and bootlegs typically are but depends on how similar they are, I do not quite understand the legality of a knockoff

    could anyone shed light into the legality of this for me?

    Some examples of items I wouldn't know if are considered legal to buy/sell in mass (All of these are just made up in my mind):

    -ray ban style sunglasses called "rays banners" in the aviator style (Mimicing ray bans)
    -gocca "designer" handbags with patterns of + - * / (Mimicing gucci)
    -a usb PC game controller shaped exactly like a playstation controller, but obviously only works on USB and has no playstation or sony branding

    I've begun importing product from china again and I've been avoiding dealing with anything that even remotely resembles a known product, but I'm wondering if that's necessary or where the dangerous area starts

    If anyone could shed some light on this I'd be very thankful
     
  2. blogzandstuff

    blogzandstuff Elite Member

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    I'd stay clear, ray banners are clearly copyright / trademark infringement. You can't plead ignorance and say you bought in good faith. Many misspell the name, but it's you that gets prosecuted. I remember the harry potter rip-offs, big lawsuits
     
  3. Aesteroth

    Aesteroth Junior Member

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    Who the hell is going to rock around with a 'Gocca' handbag...
     
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  4. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    Made it up on my own, get it? "Goochie" vs "Gotcha" - sold them a fake

    Cmon it was clever!
     
  5. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    i understand what youre saying and that is not my intention

    I ask because I'm considering things that "look like" something but are obviously not it. I created different examples just so yall could explain it to me in a way I could mentally absorb the rules to legality

    I'm looking at getting things like the USB playstation looking controller (Again, just an example) It looks like a Playstation controller, but its obviosuly only USB ie PC useable, and has no sony or playstation branding or logo on it

    I'm not sure if items like that would be considered illegal or legal because they still look -exactly like- an item, but make no claim to be that brand/license, and are obviously for a different purpose/market as yout plug it into your playstation
     
  6. Unreliable Witness

    Unreliable Witness Regular Member

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    The law depends on which country you are in. For example, Russia does not recognise US copyright. However, large companies realise this, and register intellectual property rights in many different countries.

    The words you use have no legal meaning.

    Very generally, you can't pass something off as your own if it belongs to someone else. So you can't sell handbags under the name "Gucci" because Gucci own the rights to that name. You can sell a product that looks like a Gucci handbag provided it doesn't include any invention or marks that belong to Gucci. For example, the clasp design may be copyrighted.

    If you are selling game controllers that bear a resemblance to those sold by Sony, you should be ok provided you don't use Sony's name and the controllers don't infringe any design or innovation that Sony has rights to in the country in which you are selling.
     
  7. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    great info there, thanks so much two more questions please

    1.so even if it looks/feels/functions -exactly- the same, as long as theres no copyright on parts of it you can do all you want with it??

    1.Obviously, I don't know every market or all it's various items, and thus would not always be able to know if an item is 100% unique or designed the same as a licensed product, or even if it's branded with the same company name/logo. Is there a method (perferably easy) to look into an item and find out if it gets bootlegged, along with details of how to tell or that specific item?
     
  8. Blakereed

    Blakereed Regular Member

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    The larger luxury clothing companies have a whole department to handle "replicas"

    It is a very slim chance you will get caught, but if they do go after you they will take everything you have and put you in jail ( depending on your country )
     
  9. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    again, I'm not interested in selling anything illegal or infringing on trademark/patent/copyright. Hence why I'm asking these questions, so I can understand how far removed similarities need to be to reach legal status
     
  10. winchester12

    winchester12 Newbie

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    Man, you should just stay far away from these man. Unless your business is located in china.
     
  11. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    I can appreciate that warning, and I do avoid most things that are questionable

    but there's lots of things that come into question, an off the top of my head example:

    replacement iphone back covers - they have the apple logo. I assume thats a trademark and thus illegal to replicate, but what if you sell ones with no apple logo?

    They fit perfectly onto the phone as a replacement cover, a cheaper alternative to a repair for your phone, and have no trademark. would this be legal?

    From my understanding, the answer is "only if they have a design patent that covers shape/style of the phone/phone backing, or trademark/patent/copyright for unique technology implemented with said cover"

    my initial reaction is "it should be completely legal" for things like this, but once I research it and start seeing answers as I mention above it starts getting real murky real fast. Furthermore its really hard to know if any random unbranded item is actually a replica of a branded product, so if you're trying to get ANYTHING that is unbranded, you really need to know how to verify/check on patent/copyright/trademarks to avoid accidentally buying something thats illegally copying things you didn't know existed
     
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